As always, home team in CAPS.
Indianapolis 3 1/2 JACKSONVILLE
The Colts are one of the surprise teams I mentioned in the opener. Except for Houston, their division stinks. Still, Andrew Luck is proving all of his worth as the number one overall pick. The Jaguars will likely be getting that number one pick next year.
Atlanta 2 1/2 NEW ORLEANS
The Falcons are still undefeated, but this game could be very tough. The Saints have been much better lately, and they could end up in the playoffs after a disastrous start. I think Atlanta's run will come to an end. For some reason, I was never sold on them to begin with.
Detroit 2 1/2 MINNESOTA
These two teams are going in totally opposite directions. I think many didn't believe in the Vikings anyway, and now the Lions are starting to play better. I just don't see the Vikings playing back to their earlier ways from this season. I like Detroit here.
TAMPA BAY 3 San Diego
I have heard some saying that the Chargers could sneak into the playoffs this year. How, I don't know. I would be shocked. I would also be surprised if the Bucs got into the post season. They won't, but they have been better lately. I'll take them here.
NEW ENGLAND 10 1/2 Buffalo
The Patriots are coming off of their bye week, and the Bills lately have been playing like they are on one. There isn't too much analysis for this game. I don't see any problems for New England. It won't be a total blowout, but they should win fairly comfortably.
SEATTLE 7 New York Jets
The Seahawks are right in the playoff chase in the NFC, and the Jets have the most overrated coach in the NFL, according to players. They are also coming off of a bye week, but the Jets have all kinds of problems right now. I'll take Seattle at home.
Denver 3 1/2 CAROLINA
The Broncos should win the AFC West, and Peyton Manning looks like he hasn't lost much at all. The Panthers have been disappointing, but they did play better last week. Still, I think the Broncos should be able to pull this one out.
SAN FRANCISCO 10 1/2 St. Louis
Both teams were off last week, and the 49ers could be priming themselves for a long playoff run. The Rams are already primed for a long season. I don't see any issues for the 49ers here.
MIAMI 5 1/2 Tennessee
The Dolphins are in the playoff hunt in the AFC, but I think they will fade. The Titans just are not that good, and the Dolphins aren't great. But Miami is playing better, and Ryan Tannehill is playing well. Miami needs a solid quarterback. May be they finally found one.
BALTIMORE 7 Oakland
The Ravens are still a good team, but their injuries are clearly showing. They need Joe Flacco more than anything now. The Oakland Raiders need a lot more than that. They are still mired in mediocrity after all of these years. The Ravens are struggling a bit but they should be able to put away the Raiders at home.
New York Giants 4 CINCINNATI
The Giants fell a little short last week, as did the Bengals. I was never a believer in the Bengals, but I do believe in the Giants. I don't see them losing two in a row, nor do I expect Eli Manning to have two terrible games back to back. I'll take the New Yorkers here.
PITTSBURGH 11 1/2 Kansas City
Hats off to the Steelers, who showed up at last week's Giants' game the day of, because they didn't want to take any hotel rooms away from the hurricane victims. They deserve a lot of high praise. They also are quietly playing very well, and could be lining up for the AFC North Title. The Chiefs stink. I don't know how else to put it. The Steelers should have a relatively easy day.
Game of the Week
CHICAGO 1 Houston
This is a big game despite the different conferences. Both teams have only one loss. Some still don't believe in the Bears, while many do believe in the Texans. I do as well. The defenses are both very good, but I like Houston's offense better. I'll take the Texans in a very slight upset.
Stinker of the Week
Dallas 1 1/2 PHILADELPHIA
I'm not sure anybody would disagree with this. The Eagles are reeling, the Cowboys are in near turmoil ( what else is new ), and one team has to win. I'll take the Eagles. I think they need to win more.
Record For Week Nine: 11-5 ( 11-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week Nine: 53-65-3 ( 66-55 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-5
Stinker of Week Record: 3-6
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:
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